Clarkesworld Magazine, Issue 143, by Neil Clarke

thesffreader's review

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A very mixed bag.

The Veilonaut’s Dream by Henry Szabranski 3.5/5

Sad story of a troup of scientists studying an another dimension searching for the remnants of their old friends.

The Anchorite Waits by R.S.A. Garcia 2.5/5

A story that starts off as a fantasy tale but that end up being science fiction based. The writing was quite nice but overall, it left me underwhelmed.

The Privilege of the Happy Ending by Kij Johnson 5/5

Definitely the gem of the issue, it's not my first Kij Johnson story but so far it's my favorite. I loved how Johnson repeatdly broke the fourth wall and the pacing and the prose was on point. I'm very impressed by this one, especially because I usually prefer my short fiction to be SF and not fantasy.
It follows a little girl and a hen as they try to survive humanity and other monsters.

Kingfisher by Robert Reed DNF

Oh no this one definitely wasn't for me, I usually tend to like Reed's fiction but I tried to read this three times and I was completely bored. It felt tedious and longwinded and absolutely not for me.

The Loneliest Ward Hao Jingfan 3.5/5

I still have yet to read Folding Beijing so that was my first Jingfan work and I liked it however, I wished it had been a tad longer. But it's definitely a nice and sharp view on social media.

Yukui! by James Patrick Kelly 3.5/5

An artificial intelligence is given freedom when it doesn't want it at first. It's nice and very readable but a bit overdone and I didn't see any elements particularly original or different from the dozens of stories I read based on this trope. Still, it had its moments and I enjoyed it but it's a bit forgettable.

I haven't read the excerpt from Annex by Rich Larson because I already intend to read the novel later.

mikewhiteman's review

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The Veilonaut's Dream - Henry Szabranski ***

The Anchorite Wakes - RSA Garcia ****

Kingfisher - Robert Reed ****

The Privilege Of The Happy Ending - Kij Johnson ****

The Loneliest Ward - Hao Jingfang, trans. Ken Liu ***

Yukui! - James Patrick Kelly ***

Othermother - Rich Larson ****

bookaneer's review

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Individual rating for Hao Jingfang's "The Loneliest Ward" : medical treatment that function like social media and the people (patients) who need validation could get addicted. Not bad, but I read better stories from the author.